About Us

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WomenSafe Services

WomenSafe serves people across the gender spectrum who experience sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking

Hotline Services –

Through a 24-hour hotline, we provide crisis intervention, problem-solving assistance, safety planning and emotional support.

Advocacy Services –

We offer information and referrals to all community resources over the phone and in person.

Advocates offer support, advocacy and referrals related to the Relief from Abuse Order, family and criminal court processes when it’s related to domestic and sexual violence.

Advocates will accompany survivors to the hospital to offer support and advocacy when receiving medical attention following an act of sexual or domestic violence.

Systems Advocacy –

We work to change the multi-system barriers that support violence against women. Our goal is to create systems that support safety, dignity and wholeness in the lives of everyone in our community. We do this through individual advocacy, community collaboration and participation in statewide policy making.

Underserved Communities Outreach –

WomenSafe provides targeted outreach to the smaller, less populated towns throughout Addison County and Rochester. This includes outreach to migrant workers and other immigrants. Language Line interpretation services are available for hotline callers with limited English proficiency. Language Line provides interpreters for 170+ languages. WomenSafe can also arrange for in-person interpreters. Our advocacy services are free and confidential, regardless of citizenship status.

Support Groups –

We offer drop-in support groups for survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence. Childcare is available with advanced notice. Call our hotline for specific days and times or for more information.

Supervised Visitation & Monitored Exchanges –

When a partner separates from an abusive partner, it is often a time of increased risk for the parent and children. The Supervised Visitation Program @ WomenSafe (The SVP) provides increased safety for children and parents during supervised visitation and monitored exchanges. Services are provided by a trained monitor in a safe, impartial and child-friendly environment. For more information, please call The SVP directly at 388-6783.

Community Education –

We offer trainings, presentations and awareness activities on topics related to domestic and sexual violence to schools, community groups, businesses and other organizations and professions. Sample topics are: healthy relationships, sexual harassment versus flirting, effects of domestic violence on children, and child sexual abuse prevention. Presentations are individually tailored to meet the needs of the audience

Herstory

As a result of their concerns, a dedicated group of community members came together to make a difference for families in Addison County who were victims of domestic violence. The interagency collaboration, work of concerned citizens and community groups were instrumental in starting the Addison County Battered Women's Project in September 1980 under the umbrella of the Addison County Community Action Group. On February 4, 1982, the Addison County Battered Women's Project was incorporated as it's own entity. It was organized for the purpose of "promoting the social welfare of Addison County by reducing the incidence of domestic violence, and primarily, the incidence of abuse against women."

On August 15, 1988 the name was changed to Addison County Women In Crisis (ACWIC) . Over the span of years the office has been located at various sites in Middlebury and Bristol. Then, as a result of a dedicated Board of Directors and the generous support of the Addison County community, ACWIC purchased the present Middlebury office building in the spring of 1998.

In 2001 the staff, board and volunteers of ACWIC embarked on a process to change its name to more fully reflect the work that they do. The process incorporated a number of meetings and a survey to seek input from our supporters, service users and the community-at-large. On August 31, 2001 the WomenSafe name was officially adopted. The name signifies the real focus of our work and mission of the organization.   The process was to culminate with an event on February 1, 2002 but an ice storm prevented the celebration.

Throughout all of these changes the dedicated staff, volunteers and board members of WomenSafe have ensured high quality services for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children. The office has accessible parking and provides a safe, comfortable setting for support groups and individual meetings with trained staff.

 

WomenSafe Today

Each year WomenSafe offers an extensive volunteer training for community members and new volunteers. Staff and volunteers continue to receive ongoing training and support as they provide services to the victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence in the Town of Rochester and Addison County. About twenty volunteers contribute approximately 7,000 hours of service annually assisting service users by helping them to find the services, resources and safety that they need for themselves and their children. Five dedicated Addison County residents make up the WomenSafe Board of Directors. They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the agency.

 

The staff and volunteers of WomenSafe ensure accessibility 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to meet the needs of the women who are victims of domestic and sexual violence and their children, family and friends. We work to develop a coordinated community response to domestic and sexual violence as an active member of the Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, The Addison County Council Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Sexual Assault Response Team of Addison County.  

 

Annual Statistics 

July 1, 2013- June 30, 2015

·         WomenSafe served 525 women, children and men during 4,311 in-person meetings and phone calls.

·         The Supervised Visitation Program completed 297 supervised visits and monitored exchanges for 23 children needing increased safety during parent-child contacts.

·         The Training & Education Program reached 1282 adults and youth with nearly 108 presentations, professional trainings and community awareness events.  Participants received information about healthy relationships, preventing child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, teen dating violence, consent and many other topics. 

·         At least 85 community volunteers contributed more than 8160 hours of their time to help us further our mission by providing such services as: staffing the 24-hour hotline, in-person office support, court accompaniment and administrative support.


Funding

 

WomenSafe receives funding from a combination of public and private sources and is a member agency of the United Way of Addison County.

Our Mother's Day and Annual Appeal fundraising endeavors receive strong community support.